Indy IRP: Aric Almirola preview

Aric Almirola Set For Second Run in No. 47 Home Depot Silverado With Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Team Statesville, NC -- Aric Almirola will make his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start in the No. 47 Home Depot Silverado at the...

Aric Almirola Set For Second Run in No. 47 Home Depot Silverado With Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Team

Statesville, NC -- Aric Almirola will make his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start in the No. 47 Home Depot Silverado at the upcoming Power Stroke Diesel 200 on August 5, 2005 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Almirola made a successful debut in the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports fielded truck at Memphis Motorsports Park on July 23rd. He worked his way through the field until contact late in the race sidelined the 21-year old driver. Almirola was running in 14th position at the time of his exit from the race and had displayed patience and maturity running in the thick of the competitive truck field.

"Aric's finishing position is not at all reflective of how well he did at Memphis," said team owner David Dollar. "We were very impressed with how savvy Aric is and what a keen understanding he has of the sport for a young driver. He handled all of the responsibilities of his first NASCAR premier division race like a seasoned veteran. We are looking forward to having him back with Morgan Dollar Motorsports at IRP."

"I have watched races at IRP on television since I was a little boy," said Almirola. "My Grandpa raced sprint cars so I watched Thursday Night Thunder every week. I am excited to have the opportunity to race there because I watched so many great drivers race on TV.

"I was able to test IRP with the No. 47 Morgan Dollar team right after the Memphis race and it is really a neat track. It was fun out there running up against the wall by myself. It definitely isn't a bottom feeder track. Our test went well, not as well as when we tested at Memphis before the race but I think that is a good omen for us. We learned some things that will really help us this week.

"The No. 47 team is loaded with talented guys who have a lot of experience in this sport," Almirola concluded. "With the experience of one race under my belt, I have more confidence going in to this race and can better communicate with Randy (Goss, crew chief) and the guys. Qualifying is going to be critical because passing is going to be tough there and maintaining track position is going to be key to getting a good finish. I can hardly wait until Friday night."

The Home Depot, primary sponsor of Almirola's Joe Gibbs Racing late model stock car and Tony Stewart's championship winning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup program, will be on board the No 47 Silverado at IRP in support of Almirola's second NCTS race. FedEx Express and Joe Gibbs Racing Performance Oil will serve as major associates on the truck with critical support from GM Racing as part of the Team Silverado program.

"We've expanded our sponsorship with Joe Gibbs Racing to include opportunities to support minority race drivers," said John Costello, executive vice president of Merchandising and Marketing, The Home Depot. "Aric is a talented, hard-working and dedicated driver who embodies many of the same characteristics of our 325,000+ Home Depot associates."

In preparation for his second race, Almirola tested at IRP with the Randy Goss-led team. Although rain showers shortened the available track time for the Cuban-American from Tampa, FL native, Goss was pleased with the results of both the Memphis race and the test.

"Aric did a great job in Memphis," said Goss. "He proved he has a lot of talent, maturity and desire. We are all excited about how well we ran throughout the race. The truck wasn't just right but we kept working on it and Aric never gave up.

"The test at IRP continued to reinforce our belief in Aric's talent and ability. He asks questions and listens and even if he doesn't know the exact terminology of what the truck is doing or what we should do to improve it, he can communicate what he is feeling very well and we can go forward from that point. We are all excited about the IRP race."

Almirola has spent the past two seasons as a member of the Reggie White/Joe Gibbs Racing Diversity Program racking up wins and top-five finishes in a late model at short tracks all over North Carolina.

JGR's diversity program traces it roots back to May of 2003. In partnership with the late Reggie White, a Hall of Fame defensive end who played in the National Football League, JGR formed the diversity program to create a grassroots stock car team that would identify and assist minorities with the desire and talent to make a career in motorsports. In January of 2004 the diversity program became reality, thanks in large part to the support of JGR's sponsors, most notably, The Home Depot and MBNA -- the team's primary sponsors, and Rockwell Automation and Cintas -- the team's associate sponsors


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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Tony Stewart , Aric Almirola , John Costello
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing